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US: Illinois to lay off thousands of state workers by end of week




A decision made by Gov. Pat Quinn may leave thousands of state workers without a job by the end of the week.

The cuts are coming in the face of a budget deficit that doesn't leave enough money to pay the workers, the governor says. Quinn also plans to close a prison, juvenile detention center and homes for the mentally ill.

If no cuts are made, several agencies will run out of money by spring, Quinn says.

"We can't spend money we don't have," Quinn said Tuesday.

Pistol

US Gun Sales 'on Track to Surpass 15 Million' this Year

Gun show
© Getty Images
Attendees check out new models at a January gun show in Las Vegas. Reasons given in the surge in sales range from paranoia about the economy to certainty President Obama will be draconian in his approach to firearms in a second term.
Rick Perry's emergence as the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination would seem like a coup for the gun industry. The Texas governor's enthusiasm for firearms rivals Yosemite Sam's. He has an A+ rating from the Texas State Rifle Association and packs a laser-sighted Ruger pistol when he jogs. Last year, he famously shot a coyote that threatened his dog during a run. To commemorate his act of valor, the manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger & Co., produced a lightweight, limited-edition "Coyote Special" with the words "A True Texan" emblazoned on the barrel. Collectors snapped them up. Perry would be as ardent a champion of gun rights as has ever occupied the White House.

And yet he still may not do as much for the industry as Barack Obama already has. In the time since he took office, gun sales have soared. The government doesn't track individual sales. But the FBI criminal background check required to purchase a gun is considered a reasonable proxy, and these have hit record numbers each year Obama has been in office. This year, they're on track to surpass 15 million for the first time.

Family

US: One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring

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© David Ahntholz for The New York Times
Offspring Ryan Kramer, 20, of Pasadena, Calif., is the child of a donor.
Cynthia Daily and her partner used a sperm donor to conceive a baby seven years ago, and they hoped that one day their son would get to know some of his half siblings - an extended family of sorts for modern times.

So Ms. Daily searched a Web-based registry for other children fathered by the same donor and helped to create an online group to track them. Over the years, she watched the number of children in her son's group grow.

And grow.

Today there are 150 children, all conceived with sperm from one donor, in this group of half siblings, and more are on the way. "It's wild when we see them all together - they all look alike," said Ms. Daily, 48, a social worker in the Washington area who sometimes vacations with other families in her son's group.

Cow Skull

US: EPA Declares Hay a Pollutant in Effort to Antagonize Small and Mid-Sized U.S. Cattle Feeders

winter hay
© Mike Callicrate
Billings, Montana - During his presentation on the status of the nation's new country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, and on behalf of the R-CALF USA COOL Committee, R-CALF USA member and Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate was asked a non-COOL question that set convention goers on their heels during the 12th Annual R-CALF USA Convention held August 26-27 in Rapid City, S.D.

"Has the Environmental Protection Agency declared hay a pollutant?" an audience member asked. Callicrate responded affirmatively and explained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently initiated a formal enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for, among other things, failure to store his hay in a pollution containment zone. "Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action," Callicrate said. "How far are we going to let this agency go before we stand up and do something about it?"

Callicrate is permitted to handle 12,000 cattle at a time in his feedlot, which is considered a small to mid-sized feedlot in an industry now dominated by mega-feedlots such as those owned by the world's largest beef packer - JBS-Brazil - with a one-time capacity of over 900,000 cattle; or the other mega-feedlot that also feeds hundreds of thousands of cattle at a time and is owned by the nation's second-largest beef packer - Cargill; or the other handful of mega feedlots with capacities of hundreds of thousands of cattle such as those owned by Cactus Feeders, Inc. and Friona Industries.

Heart - Black

Passenger, 31, chokes to death on in-flight meal... and his girlfriend sits next to his body for NINE hours

Image
© unknown
Robert Rippingale choked to death while eating an in-flight meal
A woman sat next to her boyfriend's body for nine hours after he choked to death on an in-flight meal.

Vanessa Preechakul and Robert Rippingale were on an 11-hour flight from Singapore to Auckland when tragedy struck.

Mr Rippingale, 31, was taking Miss Preechakul, a 27-year-old architect, to meet his parents and explore his native New Zealand.

An hour and a half into the flight with Jetstar, a low budget subsidiary of Qantas, the crew began serving dinner. Mr Rippingale chose a beef dish and was eating it while watching an in-flight movie.

Miss Preechakul said she noticed him shaking, but did not realise anything was wrong. 'I thought he was laughing very hard,' she said. 'Then I looked at his face and his eyes were rolling and he couldn't talk. His lips were turning purple.'

USA

Police State Roundup: 15 Reasons Why I Choose Not to Live in the USSA

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© unknown
I left the United Soviet States of Amerika (USSA) five years ago and never looked back. Upon discovering that government forces executed what I learned was a "false flag operation" (thank you Loose Change), that the economy was one giant Ponzi scheme (thank you G. Edward Griffin) and that there truly did exist a movement for totalitarian world government mirroring Biblical depictions (thank you Alex Jones), I figured I had some soul-searching to do.

I have long been dismayed at the barrage of totalitarian news coming out of Fascistan. Sometimes, in the chaos of "third world" countries where I tend to reside, you actually have more freedom because the typical "first world" police state laws either don't exist or nobody bothers to follow them. You can slip through the cracks. Heck, I'd driven a car for years without the correct papers.

Here, we are allowed to sell candy, puppies or hamburgers on the side of pretty much any street; authorities would likely agree with you that 9/11 was an inside job, and so forth. The free-market stimulates growth, while collectivist government destroys pretty much anything it touches.

Sure, the USSA is not unique, but what was once the spearhead of freedom has become the spearhead of tyranny, and nobody got the memo.

My fellow fluoride-head citizen and Platonic cave-dweller, I give thanks. Without you, none of this would have been possible. While those of us thoughtful and careful enough to read countless tomes and research endless laws and events, you continually deride us. For some of you there is yet hope.

In the land of freedom, the following is a dish served hot.

Bomb

US, Washington: Bomb threats at Ritzville Starbucks force evacuations

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© KREM.com
The Ritzville Police Department is investigating a bomb threat after two threatening calls were made to the Starbucks along Weber Rd.

A Starbucks employee told police that someone called saying that "there is a bomb in your store, everyone is going to die." The call came in at 10:43 a.m., and the employee could not tell if it was a male or female because the voice was altered. Shortly after, Starbucks received a second call saying the same thing.

Authorities evacuated Starbucks and six other nearby businesses.

Eye 2

Philippines Catches 'Largest Crocodile on Record'

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© Agence France-Presse
Villagers look at a 21-foot (6.4 meter) saltwater crocodile caught in the town of Bunawan, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. The monster crocodile, believed to be the biggest ever captured, was trapped after a spate of fatal attacks
A monster 21-foot (6.4-metre) saltwater crocodile, believed to be the biggest ever captured, has been trapped in the southern Philippines after a spate of fatal attacks, officials said Tuesday.

The 1,075-kilogramme (2,370-pound) male is suspected of eating a farmer who went missing in July in the town of Bunawan, and of killing a 12-year-old girl whose head was bitten off two years ago, crocodile hunter Rollie Sumiller said.

The hunter examined the crocodile's stomach contents by forcing it to vomit after it was captured Saturday, but there was no trace of human remains or of several water buffaloes also reported missing by locals.

"The community was relieved," Sumiller said of the capture, but added: "We're not really sure if this is the man-eater, because there have been other sightings of other crocodiles in the area."

The local government of the impoverished town of 30,000 people has decided against putting down the reptile, and will instead build a nature park where it will go on display.

Document

Canada: Innocent Traveller Stuck on Airline Watch List

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© CBC News
Ahmad Ali says he's being constantly mistaken by Air Canada for someone else who's on a no-fly list.
A Saskatoon man is fed up with being stopped every time he tries to fly within Canada - mistakenly flagged as a security threat - because he has a similar name to someone on a no-fly list.

"I feel I am either a second- or third-class citizen," said Ahmad Ali, a Canadian citizen. "They are humiliating me...and not catching the right guy."

Ali is a programmer and analyst with the University of Saskatchewan who said he's been delayed a dozen times boarding flights since 2008. He said the RCMP told him there is a similar name to his on a watch list.

"Your name is in there...and you don't even know what these lists are," said Ali.

The RCMP gave him written clearance to show he has no criminal record, which he said no one with the airlines is interested in seeing. Transport Canada confirmed he is not on its official no-fly list, known as "Passenger Protect."

American authorities granted him a Nexus card to enter the U.S. and he said he has no trouble boarding flights with U.S. airlines.

Pistol

US: Police Say Teen Guns Down Eight at New York House Party

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© Reuters/NYPD
Dasilva Oneil, 17, is pictured in this undated police photograph, released on September 4, 2011. Oneil allegedly gunned down eight people at a house party in New York City early on Sunday morning, evaded police capture and remains at large, according to New York City police officials.
A male teen allegedly gunned down eight people at a house party in New York City early on Sunday morning, evaded police capture and remains at large, according to New York City police officials.

Dasilva Oneil, 17, opened fire before roughly 3:40 a.m. in the Bronx, a New York City borough, hospitalizing eight, including an 11-year-old male and four teens.

The most seriously wounded in the attack was a 24-year-old male who was shot twice in the chest and remains in critical condition at a local hospital.

The remaining seven victims, five males and two females, were taken to local hospitals with "non-life threatening injuries," according to a statement from New York City police. They remain in stable condition.

Among the teens shot were a 13-year-old female, shot in the thigh, a 14-year-old girl shot in the back, a 17-year-old male shot in the pelvis, and a 19-year-old male shot in the butt.

Wounded also was a 21-year-old man shot in the thigh and a 24-year-old man shot in the forearm. All are in stable condition.

Oneil is from Mount Vernon, New York, roughly three miles north of the Bronx neighborhood where the party was held.